Delicious chicken dishes for when you are in a hurry

The holidays are over and the effort is now focused on getting the kids and ourselves back into the routine. Which is all easier said than done! I have chosen two easy, time saving delicious chicken dishes to help with our busy schedules. The chicken pie you might be surprised by, as a chef is advocating using a ready rotisserie store bought chicken from your local Psistaria! This really cuts down on the time and cost. While on the subject, I love the concept of the Psistaria as you have a large selection of home cooked foods that are quite laborious to make at home. Quick and easy and a huge variety. Back to the pie recipe, most of us are a little intimidated by kataifi pastry (Shredded wheat) but it’s very easy to use. You will find it in the freezer section of the supermarket in 500g packs. Defrost in the fridge from the night before. When the filling is ready and in the baking dish, use the kataifi, half a packet – 250g, the rest you can place into an airtight plastic bag or container and place back into the freezer. In a large bowl, gently pull it apart with your fingers drizzle the melted butter over it and continue to pull it apart until well coated. When done, gently place over the chicken filling making sure not to press it too much.

This recipe was my mother’s party trick in the 80’s!! We all loved it, so I have taken this retro classic and given it a face lift, and…voila!!

recipes2Chicken and Asparagus Pie in Kataifi Pastry

Preparation time: 1.5 hours

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

One large store-bought roasted chicken (debone then cut into bite size pieces-skin on)]

1/2 kg asparagus (cut into small pieces)

2 large white onions (coarsely chopped)

1 cup spring onion – with the leaves (thinly sliced)

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

250g kataifi pastry (half a packet)

1 cup butter (gently melted on low heat so as to remain creamy)

For cream sauce

1l milk

200g butter

4 heaped tablespoons corn flour (dissolved in a little of the cold milk)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fine black pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg

For filling

Brown the onion in the olive oil and then add the asparagus and spring onion, sauté for a little longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool

Combine the chicken, asparagus mixture, cheese, and cream sauce. Mix well, being careful not to break the chicken pieces

Place the mixture into an oven proof dish

Place the kataifi into a mixing bowl and pour the butter over. Gently, using both hands coat the pastry

Place the pastry over the chicken filling and press gently into place. Do not flatten

Bake for 30 minutes at 160C or until the kataifi is golden brown

Allow to set for a few minutes and serve

For cream sauce

Place all the milk and butter into a saucepan and heat gently at medium temperature, when warmed slowly add the corn flour which has been dissolved in a little of the cold milk and stir constantly until thick. Season and add the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

Butterflied Chicken Roasted in Lemon and Oregano

This homely, very simple one-dish meal is ideal to throw together on a working day, but by the same token works wonders for an easy dinner for guests. Accompany with a simple village salad and some thick strained yogurt.

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 1 ½ hours

Serves: 6

1 large chicken (butterflied or jointed)

½ cup lemon juice

Rind of 1 lemon

2 large red onions (quartered)

1 large carrot (peel and slice into thick pieces)

500g frozen artichoke heart (quartered)

2 large ripe tomatoes (quartered)

500 g new potatoes (pierced with a sharp knife)

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoon oregano (rubbed between your palms to release all the aromas)

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon thyme (ground in a pestle and mortar)

2 teaspoon Cajun spice

2 cups water


Cracked black pepper

Place all the herbs and spices into a bowl and mix

Coat the chicken in olive oil and cover well with ¾ of the spice mix. Place into an oven proof dish skin side up

Brown under the grill on high heat for 15 minutes and remove from oven

Place all the other ingredients around the chicken and sprinkle with the remaining olive oil and spice mix

Cover well and bake at 180C for 1 hour (At this stage prick the chicken near one of the joints. If a watery liquid comes out, cook for a little longer.)

Remove from the oven and bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes. Add a little water if all the liquids have evaporated

Roddy Damalis is the author of two books, MY CY is a photographic journey through Cyprus, and MY LITTLE PLATES a guide to 100 adored recipes inspired by our beautiful island served over two decades at the beloved Ta Piatakia restaurant in Limassol. Roddy is a restaurateur, celebrity chef, food guru and consultant. He now operates My View, an exclusive private dining venue in his home. For more information and to purchase the books visit